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Death Studies

Emma L Logan, Jennifer A Thornton, Robert T Kane, Lauren J Breen
Social support is one of the strongest determinants of bereavement outcomes, yet little is understood about the community's recognition of grief and intentions to provide social support to grieving persons. Four-hundred and seventy-six adults responded to an online vignette and questionnaire measuring grief norms and supportive intentions. Respondent gender, age, and bereavement status all had some association with expectations of grief, intentions to support, perceived helpfulness of support attempts, and opinions towards the diagnostic classification of grief...
October 6, 2017: Death Studies
Donna M Wilson, Joachim Cohen, Rod MacLeod, Dirk Houttekier
Information is needed on the incidence and prevalence of bereavement grief, and factors associated with severe or prolonged grief. Among 1,208 representative Canadian adults, 96% had experienced bereavement grief and 78% were actively grieving at interview. Grief levels were higher among women, Protestants and Catholics, when the death was under 2 years previously, when a spouse, parent, or child had died, and when the perceived death quality was lower. This study reveals the importance of good deaths; they are essential for dying people and also those who mourn their deaths...
October 6, 2017: Death Studies
William Feigelman, Julie Cerel, Rebecca Sanford
This analysis addresses the controversial question of whether disclosure of a significant other's traumatic death cause is associated with mental health outcomes. Consistent with the limited previous research, this data, collected from 131 suicide bereaved, 10 exclusively drug death bereaved and 6 other bereaved respondents, showed fewer grief difficulties and better self-rated mental health among those inclined to openly disclose a significant other's death cause, compared to those who feared incurring shame and embarrassment from doing so...
October 6, 2017: Death Studies
Ruth McManus, Tony Walter, Leon Claridge
The article asks whether disasters that destroy life but leave the material infrastructure relatively intact tend to prompt communal coping focussing on loss, while disasters that destroy significant material infrastructure tend to prompt coping through restoration / re-building. After comparing memorials to New Zealand's Christchurch earthquake and Pike River mine disasters, we outline circumstances in which collective restorative endeavour may be grassroots, organised from above, or manipulated, along with limits to effective restoration...
August 17, 2017: Death Studies
Evangelia Karydi
This study investigated the relationship between the role of the surviving parent in the child's grieving process, the continuing bond with the deceased parent and biopsychosocial functioning and active grief in adulthood. A survey of 135 adults, parentally bereaved in childhood, indicated that the surviving parent's role in facilitating the grieving process promoted a positive continuing bond with the deceased in childhood as well as general functioning in adulthood. The continuing bond with the deceased had a weak association with both better general functioning and relational active grief...
August 17, 2017: Death Studies
Jonathan Beyrak-Lev, Zach Gerber, Tsachi Ein-Dor, Gilad Hirschberger
Death awareness leads to aversion from bodily processes such as breastfeeding and sex, especially among low body esteem individuals. Using a modality bias task, we examined whether primes of death reduced attention to bodily sensations. We subliminally primed 72 undergraduates with either the word death or failed and assessed their attention to tactile and visual stimuli as a function of their body esteem. Results indicated that death primes significantly reduced attention to tactile stimuli relative to visual stimuli in low body esteem individuals...
August 10, 2017: Death Studies
Claire N Bryson, Robert J Cramer, Adam T Schmidt
The present article investigates the traumatic brain injury (TBI)-suicide link, assessing whether (a) TBI accounts for variance in suicide risk, and (b) the interpersonal-psychological theory of suicide can be applied to TBI status. Matched case-control procedures applied to archival college student health data identified TBI and non-TBI subsamples (84 total). Individuals with a TBI possessed higher suicide risk than those without. Even accounting for the relative influence of strong suicide risk factors (i...
August 2017: Death Studies
Edward C Chang
This study investigated whether hopelessness and dispositional hope predict suicide ideation in 395 Hungarian college students. Both hopelessness and hope uniquely predicted suicide ideation, a pattern that remained unchanged even after controlling for psychological symptoms. Moreover, a significant Hopelessness × Hope interaction predicted suicide ideation. Present findings highlight how hope buffers the association between hopelessness and suicide risk in college students.
August 2017: Death Studies
Mami Kasahara-Kiritani, Mari Ikeda, Noriko Yamamoto-Mitani, Kiyoko Kamibeppu
This study aimed to develop a conceptual framework of the experience of persons who have lost a family member to suicide in Japan. The authors conducted in-depth interviews with 24 such family members. They conceptualized their experience as a process of regaining my new life. Initially, their lives were out of their hands, but gradually they learned striving skills and recuperative conditioning, and integrated the skills to regain their lives. Some participants eventually reached a state of living a redefined life...
August 2017: Death Studies
Nathan Greene, Katie McGovern
Findings from an online survey of 350 adults who experienced early parental death showed that current dispositional gratitude was positively correlated with psychological well-being and posttraumatic growth and negatively correlated with depression. Further, 281 participants produced textual responses indicating they could remember the time following their parent's death. Increases in gratitude attributable to the experience of losing a parent were reported by 79% of these participants. They associated their increased gratitude with a newfound belief that life is precious and with greater appreciation for loved ones...
August 2017: Death Studies
Dariusz Galasiński
The article is a critique of a study of language of suicide notes. It raises the issue of the acontextual approach to language and suggests that suicide notes and their language must be seen within the social context in which they are written. Moreover, the article challenges the assumption that suicide notes have only a representational function. Instead, it argues that they can serve a host of other communicative purposes.
August 2017: Death Studies
Annika Jonsson, Tony Walter
Where do people feel closest to those they have lost? This article explores how continuing bonds with a deceased person can be rooted in a particular place or places. Some conceptual resources are sketched, namely continuing bonds, place attachment, ancestral places, home, reminder theory, and loss of place. The authors use these concepts to analyze interview material with seven Swedes and five Britons who often thought warmly of the deceased as residing in a particular place and often performing characteristic actions...
August 2017: Death Studies
Marcella Cameron Meyer, Steve Carlton-Ford
Continuing a bond after a loved one's death is considered typical and healthy. However, such a bond can continue symbolically only if it existed in the first place. What of indirect grievers, those who never knew the decedent? The authors describe bonds between individuals who did not have a living relationship to begin with, a concept referred to as imagined bonds. Forty-nine adults, who had a sibling die that they never knew, were interviewed. This article describes the bonds constructed between participants and the sibling they never knew...
August 2017: Death Studies
Johanna M Beyers, Lillian Rallison, Christina West
Research on grief is moving away from stage and task-oriented models. Instead, loss is reconceptualized as an event that will change mourners' identity over time. The authors envision dynamic grief work as flowing from a dialogical engagement with loss, death, and illness; a terrain in which to begin a conversation with soul. A soul perspective challenges the prevailing call for efficiency, engages the voice of loss, and aims to bring value to the experience more than resolution. The process of rebecoming following bereavement is assisted by creating image-rich narratives that attend to and allow grief to express itself...
August 2017: Death Studies
Kathy McKay, Fiona Shand
High quality mental healthcare after a suicide attempt is a key strategy for preventing subsequent suicide attempts and deaths, yet little is known about how people navigate the healthcare system following a suicide attempt. This paper focuses on the stories told by 20 people who had attempted suicide. Five themes emerged: fitting into the healthcare system; need for advocacy; consistent care; lucky to find help; and, small kindnesses. Positive and empathetic healthcare experiences, as well as connected services, assisted the recovery of people who have attempted suicide...
July 27, 2017: Death Studies
Danai Papadatou, T Bellali, K Tselepi, I Giannopoulou
This mixed method study investigated the short- and long-term effects of peer loss on eight adolescents after a fatal school bus accident. Phenomenological analysis of their retrospective narratives revealed three patterns (living in despair, collecting my pieces, remembering, and moving on). Quantitative findings indicate progressive decrease in post-traumatic stress symptoms severity across time; increase in positive changes in perceptions of self, others, and life between 18 and 34 months; and stable continuing bond with the deceased peers...
July 20, 2017: Death Studies
Jeylan Wolyie Hussein
The paper is an inquiry into the poetics of mourning and faith-based intervention in maladaptive grieving processes in Ethiopia. The paper discusses the ways that loss is signified and analyzes the meanings of ethnocultural and psychospiritual practices employed to deal with maladaptive grief processes and their psychological and emotional after-effects. Hermeneutics provided the methodological framework and informed the analysis. The thesis of the paper is that the poetics of mourning and faith-based social interventions are interactionally based meaning making processes...
July 19, 2017: Death Studies
Thomas Dellmann
Although many single factors of prolonged grief have been identified in the literature, a comprehensive understanding of predictors is still lacking. This article argues that shame and low self-esteem, present risk factors in prolonged grief after spousal loss, based on a review of correlational studies. Using a practitioner-scientist approach, a developmental model of shame as a core factor in prolonged grief is proposed, outlining the progression from childhood relational trauma, to insecure attachment, shame, self-esteem contingent on spousal approval to eventual prolonged grief...
July 13, 2017: Death Studies
John R Jordan
This article provides an introduction to this special issue of Death Studies on suicide postvention. The articles in the issue are derived from a document released by the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, titled Responding to Grief, Trauma, and Distress after Suicide: U.S. National Guidelines. The article provides data and a rationale for considering suicide as a serious public health issue in the USA and around the world, and the need for postvention after a suicide occurs. A brief description of each of the articles in the special issue then follows...
July 5, 2017: Death Studies
Sherman A Lee
The present study examined the validity of deriving a global or general measure of grief from the Persistent Complex Bereavement Inventory using an on-line survey of 180 bereaved adults. Confirmatory factor analyzes indicated that a hierarchical factor structure best fit the data such that an overarching, general grief factor accounted for the covariation among three first-order symptom clusters. The construct validity of this grief factor was further supported by correlations with related variables such as negative religious coping, neuroticism, meaning-made, and post-traumatic growth...
July 5, 2017: Death Studies
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